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HAMPTON v. CITY OF CHICAGO

February 3, 1972

IBERIA HAMPTON, ADMINISTRATRIX ON BEHALF OF THE ESTATE OF FRED A. HAMPTON, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. FANNIE MAE CLARK, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF MARK CLARK, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF, V. THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. VERLINA BREWER, BY HER NEXT FRIEND, WILLIAM R. BREWER, PLAINTIFF, V. THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. DEBORAH JOHNSON ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, V. THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDERS

On October 22, 1971, cases numbered 70 C 1384, 70 C 2371, 70 C 3026 and 70 C 3029 were by agreement and order of this court consolidated. Said cases were ordered to proceed for all purposes thereafter under case numbered 70 C 1384.

These suits are civil actions for damages. Plaintiffs allege defendants committed acts under color of law which deprived plaintiffs of their rights, privileges and immunities as guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and protected under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 et seq.

All four actions grow out of a "raid" by certain Chicago policemen (assigned as State's Attorney's Police) at an apartment located at 2337 W. Monroe Street in Chicago, Illinois, occupied by members of the Black Panther Party, and out of the aftermath of that raid. Plaintiffs allege certain of the defendants herein illegally entered said apartment on December 4, 1969 and assaulted them with deadly weapons, killing Fred Hampton in the presence of plaintiff Deborah Johnson, killing Mark Clark, and causing serious bodily harm to Verlina Brewer, Ronald Satchel, Blair Anderson and Brenda Harris. Plaintiffs Brewer, Johnson, Satchel, Anderson, Harris, Harold Bell and Louis Trueluck further charge they were illegally arrested, falsely imprisoned and prosecuted wrongfully and maliciously. Sued are the Chicago police officers who participated in the raid; certain other police officers assigned to the Crime Laboratory and Internal Inspections Division of the Chicago Police Department; the State's Attorney of Cook County and three Assistant State's Attorneys; the City of Chicago as employer of the police officers; the County of Cook as employer of the state's attorneys; the Mayor of the City of Chicago, and the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

The allegations made in these four suits are voluminous, and the court in this particular memorandum and order will not attempt here to set them forth in detail, nor further attempt to summarize them. The complaint in 70 C 1384 ("the Hampton case") covers 15 pages; in 70 C 2371 ("the Clark case"), 9 pages; in 70 C 3026 ("the Brewer case"), 42 pages; and in 70 C 3029 ("the case of Johnson, et al."), 68 pages.

Various defendants in the various cases have moved to dismiss the complaints wherein they are named for failure to state a cause of action and for lack of jurisdiction. Other motions to extend time to plead and motions to stay discovery have been filed. Plaintiffs have responded to the various motions and defendants have made reply. Following consolidation of the actions, other motions were filed by defendants on November 17, 1971; and on December 15, 1971, plaintiffs filed further answer to various defendants' motions to dismiss in this consolidated cause.

The court has now reviewed the four complaints and has read and considered all the motions and all the briefs and/or memoranda of the parties in support of their respective positions. The court's memorandum and its orders follow:

As to the Motions to Strike and Dismiss of the City of Chicago:

The City of Chicago is a defendant in all four consolidated cases. Jurisdiction is alleged under the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. § 1981 et seq.) The City of Chicago is a municipal corporation and not a "person" within the meaning of the Civil Rights Statute. It is now well established that an action for damages will not lie against a municipal corporation on these jurisdictional allegations. Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 191, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5 L.Ed.2d 492 (1961); United States ex rel. Lee v. State of Illinois, 343 F.2d 120 (7th Cir., 1965); Fisher v. City of New York, 312 F.2d 890 (2nd Cir. 1963); Spiesel v. City of New York, 239 F. Supp. 106 (S.D.N.Y., 1964); Wilcher v. Gain, 311 F. Supp. 754 (N.D.Cal., 1970).

The civil rights statutes are aimed at individuals who subject others to deprivation of their civil rights and personal involvement is contemplated. They are not aimed at the city which employs them. Plaintiffs seek to hold the city liable here for the acts of its employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior. The theory that a municipality is liable for the failure to properly train, discipline, supervise, etc. its employees has been advanced in numerous cases in this court and elsewhere. The theory has been struck down. Salazar v. Dowd, 256 F. Supp. 220 (D.Colorado, 1966); and in this court, Down v. Daley, 69 C 1789; Williams et al. v. Barnes et al., 69 C 1942; Sanberg v. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago et al., 306 F. Supp. 277. Additionally, governmental entities have defenses under Chapter 85, Ill.Rev.Stats. (1969).

All of the counts in all four complaints as they relate to the City of Chicago should be stricken and the City should be dismissed from all four suits as a party defendant. It is, therefore, Ordered that the City of Chicago be and it is hereby dismissed as a party defendant in this consolidated case.

As to the Motions to Strike and Dismiss of the County of Cook, Illinois:

As in the case of the City of Chicago, the county is not a "person" within the definition of the Civil Rights Act. Monroe v. Pape and other cases, supra, and Dodd v. Spokane County, Washington, 9th Cir., 393 F.2d 330.

It is, therefore, Ordered that the County of Cook, Illinois be and it hereby is dismissed as a party defendant in the Hampton, Brewer and Johnson, et al. suits wherein it is named, and that the County of Cook be and it hereby is ...


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